This is the kid, calls me 59 days in a row, wants to be a player. There ought to be a picture of you in the dictionary under persistence kid.LovePosted by Eskil Steenberg Wed, April 29, 2009 22:53:42
On occasion I have been contacted by people representing companies interested in my game, my technology or some other creative endeavour that i have been engaging in. Some are looking for ideas, others want to learn how cut costs or make better things, others want to buy, sell or publish something I have done, they talk about how great Love is and how I'm a role model for the future of game development. I'm a person who is usually open but perhaps a little short on time and money. I usually say that i am interested and that if they want to buy me a trip to their offices I would offer up some of my time for free. I'm not asking for money, just a ticket and a floor to sleep on, and these are million, sometimes billion dollar companies.
You wouldn't believe how many of them I never hear back from. I guess I'm not so much a role model for the future of game development.
To me it has never been important to get money compared to having them give money. Show me that you are serious, don't just say it, show that you can part with the money for a ticket that probably doesn't cost much more then your studio spends on snacks in a day. Otherwise, to quote Vincent Hanna in Heat; "Don't waste my motherfucking time". The thing is I don't even think its about money, but about the fear of taking the wrong decision. They rather spend hundreds of dollars of work hours thinking about if they want to pay for the ticket then actually paying for the ticket. I always feel that knowing you took the wrong decision after two waisted weeks of work, its still better then guessing after thinking about it for two weeks. I have a hard time dealing with people who don't call back when they say, who are late, who cant make a decision or even say when they will be able to take a decision. Often that is all i need, "I will have a decision for you on Friday", that's it, that all I need. I try to aim high, be really professional, and I want people around me to do the same, I don't mind you are wrong every now and then, we are all wrong all the time, I'm bothered by people who don't get on with trying to get it right.
A few years back I was working at a company and I constantly got in to conflict about deadlines. My manager would ask me on a Monday morning how long I thought something would take, and I would answer three days. So then he said lets set a deadline for Wednesday, and I would say, no lets say Friday. He would ask why, since I thought it would only take three days. And I would answer that I think it will take three days, but that I can guarantee it will be done in five even if some problems show up. In his view I was a bad team player who didn't set high enough goals and was slacking off (In hindsight, accusing me of laking ambition is kind of funny). In my mind if I say Friday, it means that he can schedule to have a customer, an investor or the king of Spain come by on Friday and he will know that he can depend on having the thing done so that he can show it. If I'm lucky and get done sooner ill obviously get started on the next thing ASAP. I dont think anybody at this company except me ever made a deadline.
Why am I making LOVE alone? Why am I not getting money from someone? Because I don't have time to wait for people who aren't dependable. If there is a problem I can solve in a month, that someone else may be able to solve for me in two weeks if they just make up their minds, Ill take the month just to know that it gets done. Does it suck that I have to do this? Yes, but I do get stuff done.
On occasion I have been contacted by some 14 year old kid who is convinced that I am his great role model, and that he is going to make a MMO alone too, if only I can tell him what programming book to buy. My natural reaction is to feel somewhat unease, by A, the idea that I'm a role model to someone, and B, that reality will soon crush this kids dreams when he finds out how complex making a game like LOVE is. But then I got a change of mind. Why should I tell him that? He is already far beyond most million dollar companies; he knows what he wants, He has taken a decision and is ready to do something, now even.
I didnt choose to be a role model for this kid, but for some reason he chose me to be his role model. I think he could have done much better, but on the other hand I know he could do worse, so why not give him some pointers on how to get started writing C rather then tell him he needs to lower his expectations? I aim ridiculously high, I do thing the most hardcore way I can, so why should I deny him to do the same? I think ignoring fear and just take the decision to aim high, is the way we push the envelope. I don't look down on failure, I don't care how well you do at all, I care that you try and try hard, show me that you want it. If this kid fails to make an MMO but in the process learns to program I think it would be great.